The first round in Group II of Europe / Africa Zone was very successful for the Lithuanian tennis players who destroyed Norwegian Davis Cup team with 5:0. Lithuanian neighbors, Latvia, that play in Europe / Africa Zone Group I crashed with the same result to Slovak Republic.
Lithuanian Davis Cup team opened 2014 season with a great victory. The Lithuanian team stayed in Oslo in order to play the parallel Norwegian team. The contest that started on Friday gave 2-0 advantage after the first day. Laurynas Grigelis opened the meeting with the Norwegians against Joachim Bjerke with four set victory 4-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and gave the first point to Lithuania.
The second Lithuanian to play was the first Lithuanian racquet, Ričardas Berankis who is taking the 150th place in the world and was the higher ranked player in the meeting. Berankis faced against Viktor Durasovič and won it in straight sets victory: 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 and gave to Lithuania good 2-0 advantage before the Saturday’s doubles match.
Berankis and Grigelis teamed up in the doubles match against Viktor Durasovič and Stian Boretti and won it in straight sets with 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 and secured the victory in the contest. The other two matches were only for the protocol.
In Sunday’s first match Lukas Mugevičius faced Stian Boretti. Both players played only four games due to the retirement of the Norwegian when the scoreboard showed 3-1 to Mugevičius.
The final match of the contest met Viktor Durasevič and Mantas Bugalaiskis. The Lithuanian won 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 and gave great 5-0 victory.
Now, the Lithuanians will continue to their tournaments in the ATP tour. “Happy with all the team!!! Now will have one week of training and then Bergamo challenger” wrote Berankis on his Facebook page. In the second round, Lithuania will play again away against the South African team.
Latvia that is playing in Europe / Africa Zone Group I crashed against the Slovakian Davis Cup team with 5-0 loss. The contest that took part in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, was one sided from the first day. Martinš Podžus lost in four sets to Lukas Lacko 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.
In the second match, Andis Juška gave a heroic battle against world number 91 Martin Klizan but failed to win the final points and lost with score 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6. At the end of the first day the scoreboard showed 2-0 to Slovakia.
In Saturday’s doubles match, Andis Juška and Janis Podžus faced Andrej Martin and Michal Martinak. The Slovakian won the match by four sets 4-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in order to secure the ticket to Slovak Republic to the second round of Group I.
Sunday’s matches Latvia played as Lithuania for the protocol. Janis Podžus lost in three sets 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 to Andrej Martin while Arturs Lazdins lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to Martin Klizan.
Now, Latvia will has to play in the first round playoffs of the Europe / Africa Zone Group I during the next September in order to stay in this level. The first Latvian tennis player, Ernests Gulbis who is taking the 23rd place in the world did not take part in the contest, fact that effected on the final result.